Sunday, September 16, 2012

So, Who Wants To Teach Me About Mumford & Sons?

I don't believe that the band Mumford & Sons is new, but I do know that I've been hearing them a lot more on the radio lately, and they're going to be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live next week, so something's definitely happening in their story arc.

The name of their debut album?  Sigh No More, which is a quote from Much Ado About Nothing. Honestly I'm not loving that particular song, but maybe it will grow on me.

Rather than do some quick Wikipedia searches and pretend like I know something about the band, I figure the reference in the subject line will be enough to attract the fans who can come and school me.  This is why the blog has been successful  - I just open up the conversation and let you folks do the talking.

So, somebody enlighten me - what's up with Shakespeare and Mumford and Sons?  Are there lots of references?  Have they spoken about this in interviews, and is there a specific connection they're working from (I'm reminded of the stories about Sting being an English teacher, for instance).  If a new fan stumbles across the band almost entirely because of the Shakespeare thing, what's the best song to point them to?


Anonymous said...

They have a song that quotes Macbeth: "Stars, hide your fires"--can't remember the title of the song right now, though.

Alexi said...

The song is called "Roll Away Your Stone," anonymous.

Marcus Mumford and his band are extremely popular among most Shakespeare geeks of my acquaintance because of references exactly like that. Marcus has, I think, mentioned an abiding love of Shakespeare in interviews. I don't recall more specifics off the top of my head.

The band's sophomore album is debuting later this month. Their increased radio presence and SNL appearance may be forerunners of this.

I have a pet theory that every song on their first album is based on a Shakespeare play:

Sigh No More - Much Ado
The Cave - Timon of Athens
Winter Winds - Winter's Tale
Roll Away Your Stone - Macbeth
White Blank Page - Othello
I Gave You All - Merchant of Venice
Little Lion Man - King John
Timshel - Pericles
Thistle & Weeds - King Lear
Awake My Soul - Hamlet
Dust Bowl Dance - Also Hamlet (though it's obviously really about the Grapes of Wrath)
After The Storm - Tempest (what else?)

Sean O'Sullivan said...

I exhort you to listen, that you
might learn...and having learnt,
to love:

Anonymous said...

I haven't read othello, but whenever I hear white blank pages I think of King Lear

Anonymous said...

"I gave you all" is a line spoken by King Lear, so I'm guessing that's where the inspiration for that song came from.

Anonymous said...

Timshel is about East of Eden (by John Steinbeck)

Anonymous said...

Timshel is about East of Eden (John Steinbeck).